Sorry, But That's The Way It is... - Tucson News Now

Sorry, But That's The Way It is...

Written by Bud Foster KOLD News 13

It's a symbolic vote. It carries no political weight. But now we all know where the Pima County Board of Supervisors stands on the permanent border patrol checkpoint.

They are unanimously against it.  

The border patrol says it doesn't matter, we're going to build it anyway.

And that's where it stands.

It was a surprise the board voted 5-0 for a resolution against the checkpoint. It's not even in Pima County. But it does affect Pima County residents which is why the supervisors are taking a stand.

The border patrol spent the better part of an hour defending its decision to build the permanent checkpoint on I-19 at kilometer post 42 during the supervisors regular session.

Sector Chief Robert Gilbert told lthe board, "This is nothing more than a tool for us, Its not something we want. Most agents don't even like to work on the checkpoints.  Its an operational need the border patrol has identified."

District 3 supervisor Sharon Bronson chided Gilbert about the money they'll need. She's concerned because some lawmen say the checkpoint will increase crime in the adjacent neighborhoods. Gilbert says there are resources for that.

But Bronson shot back, "Washington says we'll have the resources there but you know it doesn't happen. That's the problem. We don't get the money. It doesn't flow down."

Supervisor Ray Carroll is concerned about the safety of people who live in his district, like those in Green Valley and Sahuarita. He's afraid when the crime is moved off the interstate into neighborhoods, it'll cause problems.

"And when those confrontations begin to happen in residential areas, I'm worried about my people in the crossfire," Carroll told news 13.

Safety seemed to be the big issue for the supervisors, including Republican Ann Day.

"It's a very difficult issue and as a supervisor I have to look at the health and safety of the citizens and how I'm going to serve them." she said just before voting to support the resolution.

The border patrol says the feelings are not justified because the damage has already been done and things won't change if a station is built.

"The impact of the checkpoint at kilometer post 42m its there and its been there for some time so the impact has already occurred," Gilbert said.

The border patrol says it is not happy with the vote, but it won't change anything.

"The intention is that we're going to be building the checkpoint along interstate 19 and its unfortunate that vote took place today in the fashion that it did. But we have a job to do and we need to have the tools available to us," spokesperson Rob Daniels told News 13.


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